The rise in the popularity of social media has made it a reliable channel for communications. The various developments and innovations in social media has allowed it to gain recognition and acceptance in official communication (Auer, 2011).
Social media has found wide application in institutions of higher education. This is attributed to the high usage of social media among students, thus making it a more effective mode of communication for the institutions (Fuchs, 2012). The notices or conversations that the administration wishes to communicate to and have with the students have a far better reach on social media as opposed to the traditional modes.
This acceptance has made social media usage among students, in these institutions of higher learning, an issue of interest. The information available from this usage of social media can provide an indication of the effectiveness of a particular social media site as a channel for communication (Piskorski, 2014).
This paper focuses on the social media usage in Conestoga College. The aim is to establish the nature of the use of social media among students at the college. The results would provide valuable information and insights on the effectiveness of the college’s social media accounts in communicating with the students.
Social Media Sites’ Popularity
The popularity of the Social Media Sites’ is assessed by observing the multiple daily usage of the sites among students. The survey on social media usage among students at Conestoga College in APPENDIX produce the results in the chart below:
Figure 1: Popularity Based on Multiple Daily Usage
The plot in Figure 1: Popularity Based on Multiple Daily Usage above shows that among the five social media sites (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) considered in the survey, Instagram is most popular social media site among the students at Conestoga College. It is followed by YouTube and Facebook. Twitter and LinkedIn are the least popular social media sites in the college.
The popularity of the social media sites can also be observed using the percentage of unpopularity. This information can be obtained by looking at the data, from the survey results in the APPENDIX, on the percentage of students that never use a given social media site.
Figure 2: Unpopularity Based on Usage
From the plot in Figure 2: Unpopularity Based on Usage, Twitter is the most unpopular social media site followed by LinkedIn. On the other hand, YouTube is the least unpopular social media site together with Instagram and Facebook.
Generally, the two results above are similar in that Twitter and LinkedIn are the least popular and most unpopular. YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are the most popular and least unpopular, which are similar to results in (Agozzino, 2012)
Interaction with Conestoga College Social Media Accounts
From the survey results in APPENDIX, most students interacted with the Instagram account of Conestoga College followed by their Facebook account. The students’ interaction with the YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts was however significantly low. Student interaction with the accounts of their educational institution differ depending on the social media site (Blankenship, 2011).
The results from the analysis of the survey in APPENDIX indicate that the most visited social media account of Conestoga College is their Facebook account. This is followed closely by their Instagram account then their YouTube account. The least visited accounts are their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. An institution’s social media account visited by a student is highly dependent on whether their social circle uses the particular platform often (Pulido, Redondo-Sama, Sorde-Marti, & Flecha, 2018).
Interest in Information
The pie chart below presents the information on the level of interest the students have on the content shared on the Conestoga College’s social media accounts.
Figure 3: Percentage Interest
From the results in the plot in Figure 3: Percentage Interest above, we observe that a significantly large percentage of the students are interested in the content shared college’s social media accounts.
Usefulness of Information
The pie chart below presents the information on the level of usefulness of the content shared on the Conestoga College’s social media accounts according to the students’ opinion.
Figure 4: Percentage Usefulness
From the results in the plot in Figure 4: Percentage Usefulness above, a significantly large number of student find the content shared on the college’s social media accounts useful.
In summary, one main issue arises from the analysis of the survey results. This was the low percentages of visits to the college’s social media accounts as compared to the percentages of interactions with the college’s social media accounts.
It can be assumed that the percentage of interaction with a particular social media account for the college would translate to a similar percentage in visits to the account. This is however not the case with the results from the survey.
We can also conclude that YouTube presents the best opportunity for improving the effectiveness of social media communication at the college. Despite being among the most popular social media sites among students, at number two in most popular and number one in least unpopular, it ranks a distant third in the interaction percentage. This implies that a lot of the students that have YouTube accounts are not aware of the existence of Conestoga College’s YouTube account. Hence, there is an opportunity to create awareness of the existence of the YouTube account and reach these students.
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Blankenship, M. (2011). How Social Media Can and Should Impact Higher Education. Education Digest, 39. 76(7).
Fuchs, C. (2012). Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.
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Pulido, C. M., Redondo-Sama, G., Sorde-Marti, T., & Flecha, R. (2018). Social Impact in Social Media: A New Method to Evaluate the Social Impact of Research. PLoS One, 1-7. 13(8).